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Medical Colleges to Start Rheumatology Studies

Considering a surge in the number of people affected by various Arthritic Diseases, Medical Colleges in the State would be asked to start Departments in Rheumatology, said Minister for Health V. S. Sivakumar.

He was speaking at a function organised by the Kerala Arthritis and Rheumatism Society and Department of Rheumatology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences on 14th October, 2012 to mark the World Arthritis Day. The Minister also launched a helpline number ( 86061 13344 ) for patients with arthritic complaints.

Awareness on arthritis was important as late diagnosis of the disease made it difficult to cure, said Mr. Sivakumar. To slash treatment cost, the government will give free medicines at all government healthcare institutions to all above and below poverty line families. For this all the doctors have been asked to prescribe only generic medicines available in the stores. The decision was taken by the government since it was found that many doctors prescribe medicines of companies that provide them commission, he said.

The government has also provided funds for cancer treatment centres at Kottayam and Alappuzha medical colleges that will come up soon. About [rupee] 6 crores were spent on each centre, he said.

On the prevalence of the disease, Padmanabha Shenoy, head of Rheumatology Department in AIMS, said more than 5 lakh people have arthritic diseases in the State. The main problem of the treatment is the late diagnosis, he said.

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Medical College Hospital Coming Up in Madurai

A group of 10 Non – Resident Indians ( NRIs ) based in the US and Canada have come together to start a 700 – bed hospital cum medical college in Madurai.

Mandira Institute of Medical Sciences, which is being developed as a corporate entity, is coming up on Madurai – Rajapalayam Road near Thirumangalam at an investment of [rupee] 300 crores routed through Mandira Healthcare Infrastructure, a company promoted by NRI doctors.

The first phase of the project which will have 300 – bed multi – speciality hospital will begin functioning in November 2013.

Thirty acres of land was acquired for the medical college hospital and construction would commence shortly.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference Madurai on 26th Septenber, 2012, P.Madhu, Project Director, Mandira Institute of Medical Sciences, who is now based in the US and had been trained at the Harvard Medical School, said that the NRI doctors had chosen Madurai after a detailed ‘needs assessment’ and market survey.

“There is an uneven distribution of medical colleges and corporate hospitals in the State. Since Madurai caters to the healthcare needs of people in southern districts, we chose to come here and start our hospital in this medically underserved region,” he said.

The NRI promoters had registered their company in India as per procedural requirements and the proposed medical college will have digital technology / virtual dissection methodology for students which would come through collaboration with US – based company.

According to Dr.Madhu, several NRIs had shown keenness to return to India and this would bring professional management and medical competence for Mandira Institute of Medical Sciences.

“We will have top class Paediatrics, Gynaecology, General Surgery, Cardiology, Neurology, Urology and various other specialities. Once the hospital is ready at the end of next year, we will go for approvals from the Medical Council of India for the medical college which will have an annual intake of 150 students. The medical college is expected to begin from academic session in August 2014,” he added.

Assuring that Mandira management will bear in mind the people’s affordability factor, Dr.Madhu said that expert doctors in and around Madurai would be roped in. “We will invest [rupee] 300 crore totally in phases and the entire 700 – bed project would be completed in five years. To start with, our hospital will provide direct employment to 500 persons and indirect employment to 5,000 people. There will be a huge spin – off effect in this region,” he said.

Seven NRI doctors who belong to Tamil Nadu are planning to move down to Madurai once the hospital is ready and a few more too may join later. The hospital has an office at the construction site near Thirumangalam while the administrative office is in the city.

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Six more Medical Colleges to come up in Karnataka

Medical Education Minister S.A.Ramdass on 21st September, 2012 said that new government medical colleges would be established in Tumkur, Kodagu, Koppal, Chitradurga, Chickballapur and Chamarajanagar districts of Karnataka.

Speaking to press persons, the Minister said that these districts and Gadag, Yadgir and Uttara Kannada districts and K.R. Nagar Cooperative Sugar Factory in Mysore district had applied for starting medical colleges. As per the Medical Council of India norms, those applicants with 300 – bed hospital and 25 acres of land for establishing a college would get priority.

In hilly areas, those with a hospital in a 10 – acre plot and another piece of land measuring 10 acres in a nearby area could also apply for a college. In view of the Union government’s plan to have more medical colleges in the next five years commensurate with the population and availability of doctors, the State government had decided to accept applications for setting up these colleges.

The Minister said a team from the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences would inspect the sites where the proposed colleges were supposed to come up.

He said the government would write to the Centre agreeing to its direction for raising the number of beds in a hospital attached to the college to 400 from 250. As of now, 10 government medical colleges will have 250 seats each in Bangalore Medical College, Mangalore Medical College and Karnataka Institute of Medical Science, Hubli, 150 each in Belgaum, Raichur, Hassan, Mandya, Shimoga and Bidar and 200 in Bellary for 2013 – 14.

Mr. Ramdas said there was a proposal to start postgraduate courses in six colleges at Belgaum, Mandya, Shimoga, Hassan, Bidar and Raichur. Arrangements had been made to recruit 2,500 lecturers and other technical staff, nurses and paramedics and infrastructure would be created in due course.

He said that those candidates, who were selected on the All India merit would be posted to north Indian and northeastern states for one year as part of the Union government’s plan for serving the people in these States which did not enough doctors. Applications for starting medical colleges had come from nine organisations and six were pending before the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences.

Asked whether he approved the appointment of Bangalore University Vice Chancellor N. Prabhu Dev as Chairman of the State Health Commission, Mr. Ramdas said that he was not opposed to the setting up the commission, but it should work under his Department, so that there would be no parallel power centres. He said he was yet to see file on the appointment.